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Alexandria to Baltimore Oriole game - Best Way to Travel??

Alexandria to Baltimore Oriole game - Best Way to Travel??

Old Jul 2nd, 2003, 02:07 PM
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lgc
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Alexandria to Baltimore Oriole game - Best Way to Travel??

While visiting Washington DC this summer, we (2 adults & 14 year old son) are going to a Baltimore Oriole game on a Thursday evening (7pm game). We are staying in Alexandria. What will be the best way to get to the game? We don't think we are going to be renting a car for the week we are there. Should we consider renting a car for a day? Are there any other sights we might want to visit near Camden Yard? Would we want to visit Annapolis on our way? Thank you for any suggestions.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2003, 03:28 PM
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There is no doubt it will be easiest if you rent a car for the day, better yet hire a driver! There is no train that I am aware of that runs late in the evening that will get you back to anywhere close to Alexandria.

As far as what to see that day, I would tell you to spend the day in Baltimore; the Inner Harbor area is next to Camden Yards and there are plenty of things to do and see in the area. I would take a water taxi from Harborplace that drops you at different locations around the harbor for a fun day.

If you choose to go to Annapolis, and you can't do that w/o a car, you will spend most of the time in the car and have little time to actually do anything.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2003, 03:46 PM
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The MARC trains will get you there, I think. The yards of Camden Yards were railroad yards and the tracks go right next to the stadium. You'd take Metro to Union Station to catch the train (I suppose Amtrack would be another option). You should be able to get back in time to catch Metro back to Alexandria.

Annapolis is not on the way. You shouldn't have any problem renting a car for the day. The rental car company could bring the car to your hotel or wherever. A car would mean more freedom and traffic hassles.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2003, 04:18 PM
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lgc,

I live in Baltimore a few blocks from Camden Yards, and I commute to DC every day. There is a MARC commuter train (the Camden Line) that you can take from Union Station in DC directly to Camden Yards, and I believe they have a special return train just for game attendees--but to confirm this, check the MARC website at www.mtamaryland.com. You would need to take the metro to get to Union Station.

I agree that in theory it would be easier and less complicated to rent a car, however there are other things to consider with a car. The traffic coming from Alexandria to Camden Yards will be god-awful on a weeknight anytime between 4 - 7 pm. It will take you about an 1.5 to 2 hours, and more with game traffic or if there's an accident. Then there is the big crush of traffic leaving the game.

Yes, you need a car to get to Annapolis from Alexandria. Annapolis is not on the way between Alexandria and Baltimore; however, it would be nice to drive from Alexandria to Annapolis at around 10:00 am (in non-rush hour the drive would be about 40 minutes), and spend a few hours there. Driving from Annapolis to Camden Yards in non-rush hour (before 3:00 pm to be safe) will take about 35 minutes; in rush hour, maybe 15-20 minutes more. Annapolis is a very charming, historic old city, and I recommend it. It's actually pretty similar in feel to Alexandria, although the central "downtown" area is much more compact, and the harbor is literally in the middle of things. It's very pleasant just to walk around down the cobblestone streets, shop, eat, watch the boats in the harbor. If you can visit the inside of the state legislature, do, it's gorgeous--like the inside of a tiny european opera house. I'm not sure what Edye means when she says that you will spend most of your time in your car in Annapolis. You can just park it in one of the municipal garages and pretty much walk to most of the old downtown area.

Whether you're coming from Alexandria or Annapolis, add on even more time to get into Baltimore within 45 minutes of when an Orioles game starts.

You also would need to plan for parking--except for a very few metered spaces, you cannot park on the streets in the neighborhoods around Camden Yards--you will get ticketed as it is by residential permit only. There are commercial lots available, but you just have to plan it in advance.

Around Camden Yards--yes there is the Inner Harbor (or Harbor Place, as the retail Pavilions there are called), but in my opinion, the Inner Harbor itself is not the most interesting place to visit--it is basically a tourist trap, filled with chain restaurants and stores (Hooters, ESPNZone, Cheescake Factory, etc.)--the notable exception being the National Aquarium, which definitely IS worth it. It's pleasant to watch the boats in the harbor, but if that's all you want, Annapolis' harbor is more picturesque. I love living in this neighborhood not for the Inner Harbor itself, but because it's such a friendly neighborhood with quaint historic houses and, a few blocks south of the Inner Harbor itself, there are good local restaurants and bars.

Also, there is the incredibly interesting American Visionary Art Museum which is just south of the Inner Harbor in Federal Hill. The Museum also has a good restaurant on the top level with a gorgeous view of the harbor, with some tables on an adjacent deck if the weather is nice. There is also Federal Hill itself--the actual hill--which is adjacent to the Museum and from which there is also a fabulous view. It's a historic site dating from the Revolutionary War (or maybe the Civil War--I can't remember--but it has some commemorative statues and cannons).

Finally, I agree that it's fun to take the water taxi to different spots around the Harbor. I would only add that you should allow plenty of time for this. In my experience, the water taxi does not always show up as scheduled at all of the stops, so you may have to wait fairly long for a ride back to the Inner Harbor (or walk).
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Old Jul 3rd, 2003, 05:40 AM
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The MARC is the way to go to and from DC, and it's really cheap, too! Then take the DC metro back to Alexandria from Union Station.

As for the water taxis, you have to tell them if you want to stop somewhere other than the main stops, like Harbour Place, Fells Point or the Science Centre. I commute to work on the WT and have to tell the captain/mate where I want to go (also have to call to make sure they know to pick me up in the a.m.), since it isn't Fells Point. But it is a really nice way to see the city from a different perspective. If you want to go to Fort McHenry, the birthplace of the National Anthem, you have to change water taxis at Fells Point. It is $6 for an all day pass on the water taxi - or the seaport taxi, anyway.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2003, 10:38 AM
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Thank you so much for all of your help. We are looking forward to this trip - there is so much to do and see in this area. It is very helpful to have help from those of you that live in the area! Have a great 4th of July!
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 04:45 AM
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I just want to say: DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE THIS ROUTE!!! rmmr is exactly right.

The people who have said to drive obviously have never done it. You would have to drive right through rush hour to do this - and it would probably take you 2 1/2 hours (if I am exaggerating, it is only VERY slightly). I have driven from downtown DC, where I work, to night games at Camden Yards, and unless I leave before 4pm, I never make the games on time.

And Annapolis is not on the way, as someone else pointed out.

Take the metro to Union Station and catch the MARC trains. Trust me! And welcome to Washington. I live in Alexandria, so if you have any questions about that, please ask!

Karen
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 10:18 AM
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The return from the ball game is no longer on a train. I believe you have to take a bus that leaves 20 minutes after the last out. It's possible you will get back to DC after the metro stops running (roughly midnight during the week) but a cab to Alexandria should not be too expensive (or hard to find, although I'm sure where the bus lets you off). Another alternative (although probably too awkward) would be to stay over in Baltimore that night, and see the Aquarium, etc, the following day.
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 12:45 PM
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That's a brutal commute at rush hour. Do not attempt it. My advice is to take the day off, visit Annapolis for lunch, stroll the harbor, and ,at 4PM, fly up 97 North to the Baltimore Beltway and then take 295 north from there to the stadium and have a couple beers outside the stadium before the game. The Orioles hold their beer prices to a Pirate's ransom so drink as few as possible in the stadium.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 04:35 PM
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Another thing you might want to consider is to spend the night at a hotel near Camden Yards (there are plenty of them). If you're staying at a hotel in Alexandria and plan on returning to it, they might hold all your extra luggage.

Just a suggestion since it's a pain to fight traffic after a game. And as for MARC, the last game I went to the (Camden Line) trains weren't running due to a derailment (or such), then there was a 2 hour rain delay. Fortunately I decided to drive, but I could have ended up hanging out in Dorsey instead.

BTW: The Visionary Arts Museum has a wonderful restaurant for lunch or dinner. Or you can bring food with you into the stadium, just no alcohol.
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